Episode Archive

More than 1500 episodes* on just about any kind of thing you can think of. Collectively, we call it “stuff.” There’s definitely something in here that will pique your interest.

*We did the math once and listening every minute of every day, it would take more than a month to make it through the catalog. And what a month that would be!

Wireless Electricity: When Can We Unplug Our TVs?

February 29, 2024 47 min

You know all of those cords and cables and wires that we use to connect our stuff to the electrical grid so they’ll, you know, work? Imagine a day when energy flies through the air like wifi, utterly cord-free. Well, imagine no more! That day is coming!

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Short Stuff: Smudging: Not just for hippies

February 28, 2024 14 min

Smudging is the process of wafting around the smoke of burning white sage. What is it good for? Listen in and find out.

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Haile Selassie: Statesman, Colonizer, God?

February 27, 2024 56 min

If you grew up outside of Africa, you might know Haile Selassie’s name from reggae music - the man who ruled Ethiopia is considered a god in Jamaica. In Ethiopia opinions are more varied. 

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Selects: How Zero Population Growth Works

February 24, 2024 51 min

In 1968, Paul Erlich published The Population Bomb, predicting coming famine and mass death. Erlich's predictions didn't pan out but his ideas launched a debate still raging today. Learn all about it in this classic episode.

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The Story of the Nuclear Boy Scout

February 22, 2024 40 min

David Hahn was a kid who was really into science. So much that he built a nuclear reactor in his mother's potting shed. And it worked. 

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Short Stuff: Benin Bronzes

February 21, 2024 14 min

One of the world’s cultural treasure troves were created in West Africa. But for over a century they’ve been held in museums outside of Africa. In fact, an estimated 95 percent of Africa’s cultural heritage is kept in museums overseas.

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Ray and Charles Eames: More than Chairs

February 20, 2024 57 min

Charles and Ray Eames were superstar designers who dreamed up some of the most iconic pieces of furniture ever made. And they did much more than that.

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Selects: Geodesic Domes: The Wave of the Future That Wasn't

February 17, 2024 50 min

Sometimes a good idea doesn’t pan out in real life. Take Buckminster Fuller’s geodesic dome: It requires less energy to heat and cool, it’s cheap, and it’s durable enough to withstand a hurricane – but it’s also godawful ugly and that was its undoing. Learn more with Josh and Chuck in this classic episode.

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Like, here's the episode on "like"

February 15, 2024 38 min

Like is a very divisive word. Purists think it's like, a filler word born in the 80s that's like, destroying the English language. Turns out none of these are like, true. 

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Short Stuff: The Original Snake Oil Salesman

February 14, 2024 10 min

There’s a great origin story behind snake oil salesmen, and it has to do with just one guy who singlehandedly gave it a bad name.

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